‘A Huge Win’: New Zealand Introduces Bill That Provides 10 Paid Domestic Violence Leave to Victims in World First

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In New Zealand, domestic victims can now take out a special type of leave, thanks to legislation that has been passed. 

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A huge win

The Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Bill allows people to request up to 10 days of leave a year if they are affected by domestic violence, on top of regular sick and vacation entitlements.

During this period of time victims are able to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children. It also protects domestic violence victims from being dismissed from their jobs or have their employment conditions downgraded.

MPs clapped and cheered as bill passed on Wednesday night with 63 votes to 57. It is the result of seven years of work by Green MP Jan Logie, who worked in a women’s refuge before she became a politician.

However, the members of opposition concerned the measure could be financially difficult for small and medium-sized businesses.

“All too often, victims have to leave their jobs because of this, and it makes them more reliant on their abusive partner, and means their employer has to recruit and train up new staff. It’s a lose-lose situation,” Logie said.

“Today, we will become the first country in the world to provide these protections as universal entitlements. Today we stand for a future free of domestic violence.”

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Source: Twitter

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the developed world, with police responding to a family violence incident every four minutes. Family violence is estimated to cost the country between NZ$4.1bn and $7bn a year.

Family violence groups in New Zealand welcomed the new legislation, saying it was the beginning of people realizing that tackling the problem was part of a broader shift to improving employee wellbeing.

Dr Ang Jury, the chief executive of Women’s Refuge, said the bill was in no way a “magic bullet” and was not preventative in nature, but it was “a significant step in the right direction”. She said: “We know women’s economic situation is pivotal to her choices that decide what she can and can’t do. If she can retain her job and retain the confidence of her employer, whilst still dealing with domestic issues, then that is great news.”

The Philippines passed similar legislation in 2004, which is believed to be the first of its kind. Australia is considering similar legislation.


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'A Huge Win': New Zealand Introduces 10 Paid Domestic Violence Leave to Victims in World First
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'A Huge Win': New Zealand Introduces 10 Paid Domestic Violence Leave to Victims in World First
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In New Zealand, domestic victims can now take out a special type of leave, thanks to legislation that has been passed. 
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